Radio Surgery, A New Grid, And A New Mode

Today was a radio day, and I did some very fun things.

I turned on the 6m rig and laptop and tuned in to 50.313, the FT8 frequency on 6m. Six has been dead for a while, but I keep listening. And today I heard someone and landed a new grid, DN06 (south eastern WA). It was the only signal on the band. Thanks, W7DGZ! That brings my 6m grids to 39! But during the QSO, the DC power fluctuated on the rig. This has happened before, so I decided to troubleshoot and repair it.

So I needed to check the power connector on my IC-575H. It was loose; whenever I’d touch the 12VDC cable, it’d turn on and off. So I pulled the rig completely apart to see if it was a cold solder joint or something. There was nothing wrong, and continuity checks all seemed fine. After I put it back together, it was much better. Maybe it was just loose and taking it apart and putting it back together fixed it. We’ll see. While I was in there, I verified there was no CR-64 high-stability crystal installed and that the memory battery was just barely above 3 volts; I’ll replace that battery soon.

The IC-575H open on the workbench.

Later in the evening, I wanted to try something different. I get in those moods. So I posted in a couple of Facebook groups and the Pacific Northwest VHF Society mailing list that I wanted to do some 6m AM on 50.400 MHz. I had a great QSO with Jessie, KB7PSG. AM is a fun mode and sounds great. I should do that more often. Thanks, Jessie!

I also rearranged the shack a bit this weekend. Here’s a current picture. I think I need more radios. 😉

My shack, September 15, 2018.